Sunday, January 24th, 2021

Main Stream News On The Rocks: The Rise Of The Alternative News Media

Published on October 24, 2016 by   ·   No Comments

In a free and democratic society we have four pillars, branches or what has also been termed estates.  One of course is the judiciary, another is the legislative branch, yet another is the executive branch (president, prime minister or both in some cases) and finally we have the news media.  The news media, and the journalists working in that field, often called the fourth estate, are of course not elected as the populace elects their political leaders or representatives.  They are private actors in the society whose product, the news, is consumed and supported by the general public.  But, a free press, albeit a non governmental entity or industry, is intended to act as a form of check and balance upon the others.  That is why historically the general public usually has had a degree of trust in what they read or hear from journalists.  An implied level of ethical reporting.  A proverbial guard dog if you will, keeping an eye on what is going on and speaking truth to power when and where necessary.  At least that is the theory and how it is suppose to work.

There was a time when the main stream media actually did their job, and politicians were often kept in check by the press, the truthful press to be more accurate.  The Washington Post and it’s reporting on Watergate back in the 1970′s comes to mind.  But today we have something else going on.  Today we have many in the main stream media pandering to and aggrandizing politicians (and other prominent figures) not out of respect but for personal gain of some kind.  Those that do come forward with information about corruption, wrong doing, malfeasance or even simply question the health of a politician are ostracized and or fired.  That is exactly what happened to Mr. David Seaman, who was a contributor to the Huffington Post, who dared to raise health questions regarding the current democratic party presidential candidate.

And when the media is not firing it’s reporters or journalists, they certainly apply a heavy hand of self censorship.  An example is Ms. Caryn Elaine Johnson, better known to you as Whoppi Goldberg, who co-hosts an ABC television talk show.  I have to say that while Ms. Johnson is an extremely talented comedian and I have enjoyed many of the films she has made as well, I do not always agree with her political leanings (but like everyone else, she is entitled to her opinion).  However, in a recent broadcast, Ms. Johnson did question the motivations and agenda regarding some recent political reporting (more like gossip to be honest about it) and was promptly cut off by the program’s producers.  The main street media did not pick up on it, but many in the alternative media certainly did.  Apparently asking some mature logical questions about the main stream news media is not to be tolerated, even from their own.

If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed.

If you read the newspaper, you’re misinformed.

 - Mark Twain

Which leads me to explain that the recent news coverage (if you can call it that) of the current US Presidential Election is really what got me thinking about all this.  I mean, the news is a business, I do get that.  And with that said, I also do realize that sex sells.  In fact, some element of sex or implied sexual references has been a staple of the advertising industry for years.  Put a photo of a naked woman on a billboard splashing some brand of cologne on a guy and I guarantee you that it will catch the attention of 100 percent of the heterosexual men seeing it, and some women too.  But, when does it cross the line in terms of journalistic coverage of public figures, including politicians?  When does it become trite and downright childish?  Should we perhaps question the motives or agendas regarding some of this coverage, and is it too much?

MSM News As Tabloid Entertainment, Not News

As an example of main stream media nonsense, Bruce Jenner decided one day he wanted to become a woman, and he (or is it now she?) was celebrated in a very positive way by epic proportions in the main stream media.  I remember when his photo (he was a he back then, at least I think so) was on a cereal box after becoming a winning Olympic athlete.  Now he / she looks like my ex-wife’s Aunt Lucy (sorry, I just cannot get my head around it, and by the way I happened to like Aunt Lucy).  And in the political spectrum, Former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner got caught with his pants down (literally) sending photos of his family jewels supposedly to an underage girl. However, Jenner’s wiener (or now lack thereof) got months of news coverage and publicity of various kinds.  Weiner’s wiener was in the news cycle for less than a few days.  In fact, it was not that long ago and has pretty much disappeared altogether (I am not complaining it no longer is in the news cycle, by the way).  But the point is that the main stream news media wants to fill your head, and your time, with titillating gossip, rumor and nonsense.  Such so called news is nothing more than an intended distraction from the more important things they should be spending time on, but are not.

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